May 15, 2016 | By Tess
3D printed chocolate and confectionary is quickly advancing within the realm of 3D printed food, itself a growing field of additive manufacturing. One of the obstacles to making 3D printed edibles mainstream or professionally commonplace, however, has been designing a compact and stylish 3D food printer that could fit easily into a kitchen or sweet shop. To offer a solution to this design obstacle, Dutch design studio Michiel Cornelissen Ontwerp has developed a concept chocolate 3D printer called the XOCO.
The design for the XOCO chocolate 3D printer, which is encased in what looks like an antique glass dome, is based on a polar coordinate system and consists of a rotating buildplate and a pillar from which the printhead and chocolate containing pod are suspended. The sleek machine is operated by an accompanying mobile app, from which chocolate models can be selected.
From the video showcasing the innovative concept design, it looks as though different types of chocolate are also used, including white, milk, and dark. The confectionary tool’s entire process can also be visualized through the stylish glass dome, allowing its user and any audience, whether at home or in a restaurant or shop, to see the custom shaped chocolate being produced.
The design, which incorporates a multicolor LED light ring along its base that indicates when the machine has heated up and how far along the chocolate print is, was conceived of in contrast to existing, more technically geared 3D food printers. As the Dutch design firm explains, “Current 3D-printers are usually technical, business-like objects, and with this project we wanted to show that also in this category it is possible to create a product which not only works great, but feels right in the food-centered environments where it is intended for.”
The idea for the XOCO 3D printer came about through a collaboration a number of years ago between Michiel Cornelissen Ontwerp and Nikhil Velpanur, who suggested the development of a chocolate 3D printer. At the time, despite investment interest, the project did not take off, but now, the Dutch design studio is going back to their XOCO 3D printer design concept. Michiel Cornelissen told 3Ders, “We always loved the idea of XOCO…and recently we revisited the design on our own initiative to include a more fun user experience, an app concept and some new hardware and graphical details - simply because we think there is not enough good design in the world of 3d-printers, and we want to show what's possible.”
While the XOCO 3D printer is still in its conceptual development stages, perhaps someday in the near future you’ll be using one to print out a custom box of chocolates for someone special.
Posted in 3D Printer
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